Hostility towards scientific consensus: A red flag identifying a crank or quack (David Gorski) Science is about coming to a consensus based on data; cranks and quacks typically raise questions that have already been answered and offer no new evidence worthy of changing the consensus. Whether questioning the consensus on global warming, evolution, HIV/AIDS, or vaccines, they use the same techniques of false argumentation. They are denialists, not skeptics.
Study of “Acupressure” for Constipation (Harriet Hall) A study showed that perineal massage with two fingers was effective for relieving constipation. Maybe it is, but it doesn’t constitute “acupressure.” The use of that word was a deliberate attempt by a practitioner of Chinese medicine to infiltrate mainstream medicine and legitimize fanciful unscientific concepts.
Communicating Health Science News (Steven Novella) University press releases frequently overhype the results of studies, and this has a dramatic effect on overall reporting about the research. The biggest problem is reporting preliminary or exploratory data as if it is confirmatory. Dr. Novella offers guidelines for good science news reporting.
No, the HPV vaccine does not cause promiscuity (Scott Gavura) The HPV vaccine is an effective means of preventing cancer. Some parents fear that vaccinating their daughters against HPV will increase promiscuity. It won’t. A new study of over 260,000 girls showed no increase in indicators of sexual behavior in vaccine recipients.
Reflexology for Babies? (Clay Jones) Science-based medicine recognizes that children are not just miniature adults; pediatrics requires special knowledge and a different approach. Alternative medicine treats all ages alike; and chiropractic, acupuncture, homeopathy, Reiki, and reflexology are increasingly being used on infants and children. Reflexology is nonsensical for adults and even more so for babies.